Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

My opinion on recovery accounts / food aimed for people struggling with eating disorders

Hello :)

So i got asked two questions via email which i thought i would answer on here as it might be of interest to others.

What is my opinion on recovery accounts (specifically Instagram and Tumblr) ?

Well my opinion is varied. I personally think blogging is great, and blogging did help me during my recovery. It was a way for me to express myself, right out my thoughts and eventually to keep myself accountable for the choices i made. And also i didnt want to let my readers down, so that was positive. I use both IG and Tumblr daily, though i am definitely not scrolling through the recovery accounts, but i know that there are MANY. Its crazy how many accounts that when i click on it says in their bio "recovering from x or y".

What is my opinion on those types of accounts, it is very mixed. I think that it can be a positive thing if it helps you and you can connect with people who motivate and inspire you, who are helping you to recover. It can also be inspiring to see others make steps forward in recovery.... but then there is also the fact that you can become addicted and define yourself as the person "in recovery". Who are you if you arent recovering, who are you if you arent the person with the eating disorder. But also if all you see everyday on social media is peoples struggles in recovery, reading lots of negativity or seeing lots of small portions it can definitely hold you back, as there is alot of competition and comparing when you have an eating disorder. You might see someone who posts pictures of very small meals and seems to do lots of exercise and you wonder, how are they recovering when you have to eat double or tripple as much and no exercise. There are people in the recovery "communities" online who arent very honest. They say they ate a meal or are in recovery, but they didnt eat their meal and they arent trying very hard at actually recovering.

Then there is also the fact - you can call me hypocritical i guess - i personally find that the accounts which post all their meals are still very obsessed with their food. If it makes you eat all your meals and it is doing something positive for you, then fine.... just dont let it become an addiction or something controlling. I mean you dont have to photo all your meals..... And yes, i do take photos of some of my meals and post them online, but i dont do it to all my meals. 1 or 2, max 3 per day when i can eat around 6-7 meals per day. And i have been asked to show a full day worth of eating through photos, but i just dont see the point of it? Who has time or energy to take a picture of everything they eat?

With recovery accounts, remember that not everything is real and people arent always honest. If you find that you can find inspirational accounts to follow and ones who influence you positively and you find that your account helps you, then sure... go for it. Just dont become addicted to the account and  dont get addicted to the term "recovery" either, you need to be able to let go and be healthy!

This is my opinion anyway, some might think the recovery online community is awful and shouldnt exist (though that is my opinion about the thinspo and people who post very triggering stuff online. I think those shouldnt exist.) Whilst others might think the recovery accounts online are the best and helpful in all ways.

Feel free to share your opinion :)





And second question, what is my opinion on Questbars, Calorie free sauces and calorie free noodles being marketed towards those with eating disorders. Or causing eating disorders?

If you have read my blog for a long time you will know that i have eaten all of these3 things. I love questbars, however they are personally a little too expensive for my own economy but also they dont fill me up... i need to eat 3 to fill me up and that is 1) expensive, 2) not good for my kidneys with 60g protein and once and 3) i would prefer to eat real food to get those 600kcal in.

And yes, i have eaten calorie free sauces and some are ok, such as the Waldens free creamer (though i would recommend wisping your own milk or soy milk and adding some stevia drops instead. Much cheaper and works just as well)

and 3, i actually like calorie free noodles (and i am part of the minority who does!!). However they are expensive and have no nutritional value so kind of pointless to eat? So if i get them free i will eat them, but i wont personally spend my money on them as they have no health benefits or nutritional value.

But to answer the question..... There is definitely a hype around questbars in the recovery community. Iit is seen as a bit of a "trend" and that seems to be the only snack some accounts post..... And no, i dont think a questbar is enough of a snack... maybe for a morning snack, or as a dessert but not enough just as it is. I dont really know what to write, but i personally think that if you enjoy questbars... eat them, but you also need to eat more. A questbar is very procressed and you know what, it is much better to eat a banana and 2 eggs instead of a questbar or to eat some bread with butter and cheese or some greek yoghurt with nuts and muslie. So much better for you instead of just a bar. They are good for on the go, but remember that there is more food than just "low carb, high protein bars".

And when it comes to calorie free sauces and calorie free noodles.... remember that food is eaten for energy, nutrition, vitamins and minerals and 2) because it is delicious. But the reason we eat is so that our body can get the right energy and vitamins it needs each day.... eating things with little nutritional value is kind of pointless, and even more pointless if you are someone who needs a high calorie intake. Ii mean if you need to gain weight.. then choose the full fat products and some of your favourite pasta or noodles, not the 0 kcal stuff... how is that helping you?
   If you want these types of products in your diet just as an extra because maybe you think they taste good, then sure... but they should not be the main thing in your diet or replacing other, better options in your intake. I.e they shouldnt be the base of your diet. Your body needs its macronutrients and micronutrients daily and if you are eating things with very little nutrition or very little energy, vitamins or minerals then you arent helping your body.


I dont know whether they are being marketed towards people with recovery - i dont think that is allowed? But i think because they are 0 kcal or low carb, high protein, those with eating disorders radiate towards them. And i have had many people write to me and say they were addicted to these types of products and eating them just because they were low kcal even though they didnt like the taste of them... ive actually had a reader send me questbars because they bought a box and didnt like them XD I think it is up to each person to make their choices about what they choose to eat, and i dont think someone is disordered just because they eat some of these products, but if these types of products are all they eat then it might be disordered behaviour and thoughts involved.

And lets also remember, these items are products. not ingredients. They contain lots of weird ingredients... i mean food has kcal and energy, so ask yourself.... "what the hell am i eating if it has no kcal? What has been done and what things am i consuming (i.e lots of chemicals) if it has barely any calories?".



^^A very very processed meal.... questbar, calorie free sauce, casin and caffeine tablets?
I would NOT call this a balanced meal. 


4 comments:

  1. Yes, recovery accounts can work both ways, and I agree with the points you make.
    However, I can't say how glad I am to have discovered the phenomenon of recovery accounts. They've transformed my experience in so many good ways. Thank you for yours.

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    1. Exactly they can be positive and helpful, it all depends on who you follow and hoe they affect you :) hope you have a great weekend!

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  2. Well I have yet to find a better account than yours Izzy - yours is informative and interesting, and balanced as it doesn't just focus on recovery. You write about life after recovery too and that is important, as you have moved on from recovery and living life healthy and recovered and it is good to see that as well as the advice posts you write.
    Your account has helped me far more than my health service has, and that is a huge thing that you should be proud of. I really don`t know where I would be today if it wasn't for your account, you have answered questions and given me insight that otherwise would have been denied to me. Most of all you have given me hope and for that I thank you.

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  3. I have also brought quite a few books about recovery and text books about anorexia itself - not getting any help from medical services I have had to learn about it all myself. I am the sort of person that when I start something I like to find out all about it so buying books was my first step. Some good, some not so good - the main fault I found was that many of the recovery accounts focused on the pain of recovery, and not a lot was said about what happened next, when that person was weight restored. That part is I think just as important as the recovery itself as there must be a process of readjustment that follows recovery and it would be good to know what to expect from life afterwards. The internet came a little later. I found some sites that just seemed to advocate anorexia and I can see from theses that it would be all too easy to get stuck in recovery mode as they didn't appear to move on. Your account Izzy is the most balanced I have come across. I also stumbled upon a few pro-ana sites, which in my opinion should be banned, they were truly shocking and I had no idea such sites existed until then.
    Theres a lot to be said for internet accounts, but only if they work for you and you remember that you can`t stand still - you must move forward and keep taking steps onward in your recovery and you must want not to be sick forever. I found a couple of forum type accounts where this would clearly not happen so they weren't for me.
    Just a footnote - a few weeks back there was an item on the local news about a person who ran an internet blog about anorexia. She was in a supermarket and saw in the checkout que a girl who was clearly anorexic. Wanting to help but not knowing what to say she wrote down the name of her website and placed it in the girls shopping basket. The girl went on to make contact with her and she helped her through recovery. In the interview on tv the girl was now weight restored thanks mainly to that persons website. So there can be happy endings where internet accounts are concerned but I think you have to be very careful and choose which you follow wisely as a lot can do more harm than good.
    As for the low cal or calorie free foods, I can`t say I have ever bothered with them. I buy the low cal or fat free yogurts for my partner because he is on a weight loss diet but they are too full of additives for my liking. I can understand how it would be easy to get hooked on the diet foods though but luckily I never have been. The real thing is so much better, and if you`re at all worried about the calories or fat, just have less in the first place. I think there are far too many foods these days that contain high percentages of sweetners which can`t be doing your body any good - but maybe I`m just biased as I have a sensitivity to most sweetners so can`t take them. I`ve heard steviol is better for you rather than the chemical sweetners but haven't tried it personally. I think coka cola marketed a steviol based cola but I don`t know what its like, have you tried it or do you stick to the regular coke?

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